Live Organized With The One In One Out Rule

Live Organized With The One In One Out Rule


I don’t care if you are a professional organizer or a homemaker simply enthusiastic about keeping a tidy house-- living an organized life requires consistent strategies. One of my favorite and most effective strategies is what I call the “One In One Out” rule. It’s purpose is to help keep from accumulating too much stuff.

The “One In One Out” rule goes like this: say you have a drawer full of pants. Once you reach capacity for how many pants that drawer will hold, when you buy a new pair of pants, one pair has to be gotten rid of.

Yes, it is really that simple.

Now, I know for some people this might sound arbitrary and wasteful, and for people who like "lots of stuff" a little scary, too. But that is not my intention for this strategy. Let me explain further. Say, for example, you love books. And you have the space for five libraries in your home, or line every wall of space you do have with bookshelves, great! Go for it!! Then, you can go a long time without having to get rid of a book. But, if you live in a studio apartment, at some point you are going to have to make some hard choices. Unless you want to be sleeping on stacks of books.

See, it is your physical space that is the arbitrator of your belongings. Not me. And in some respects not even you. Yes, you get to make the choice of what goes or what stays. But ultimately it is the space in which you have to live that helps guide those decisions.

This pragmatic reality is part of what I love so much about this strategy. It removes so much of the emotion out of the equation. Even though I like decluttering and being organized the “One In One Out” rule truly helps me! Without it, do you know how many pairs of slipper socks I would own?

Here's hoping this simple organizing life hack help keeps you from accumulating more stuff in your life than you can store, display, use, find, enjoy and most of all, appreciate.